Protest The Hero – Fortress


Album

Fortress

Label

Vagrant/Shock

Year

2008

Genre

For Fans Of

The Buried And Me – Dream Theatre – The Human Abstract

Summary

Someone’s been listening to Dream Theatre…

Rating

89 / 100

It has become common place for
teenage metal fans to possess the same level of technical proficiency
as their elder statesman, but one thing most of them are yet to grasp
is the art of song writing. Although they still can’t legally drink
in the US, the members of Protest The Hero have an arsenal of
memorable tunes and guitar wizardry that would put bands twice their
age to shame. 

While the band have an obvious
appreciation of the last couple of Between The BuriedAnd
Me
releases, the five young gentleman that make up PTH have
enough unique ideas up their collective sleeves to bring something new
to a genre which is fast running out of ideas. Musical proficiency aside, Rody’s soaring vocals have more in common with the power metal
heroes of yesteryear rather than his glass gargling peers, something
which gives Protest The Hero a timeless and dare I say it more
accessible sound. 

It only takes thirty seconds of
“Bloodmeat” for you to realize that PTH’s axe-men spent a good chunk of their formative years learning the solos
to Master Of Puppets. The song seamlessly shifts between frantic
technical metal, Pantera inspired southern riffs and a mid section
which is destined to be played to stadiums across the world… or at
the very least, have a promotional video with the band playing on a
mountain top. 

The European influenced opening
of “The Dissentience” is one of the more straight forward moments
on the record, but it doesn’t take long for PTH to up the ante
in the riff department and add some flourishes from a horn section (all
of which occurs within less than two minutes) while the bridge proves
that power ballads still have a place in modern metal. 

Rody’s vocal workout
on “Bone Marrow” combined with the fret board acrobatics of both
guitarists and bass player Arif can only be described as epic. While many bands attempt to squeeze dozens
off riffs into one song without actually going anywhere, Protest
The Hero
manage to conjure up a cohesive tune, an impressive feat
when you consider how busy all five members are throughout the almost
six minute onslaught. “Sequoia Throne” should cement PTH a spot
in Guitar Hero 4 and just in case you ever wanted to know what
a more technically savvy version of Queen would sound like you can just listen to “Palms Reads”.  

Upon first listen I found “Limb
From Limb” to be a little weak compared to the remainder of Fortress,
that is of course until I heard the ridiculously over the top but equally
as amazing keyboard solo which pops up around the three minute mark,
followed shortly after but one of the album’s toughest riffs. “Spoils”
is pop metal (if there’s such a thing) at it’s finest, a future
single if I’ve ever heard one, and the rock n roll choruses of “Wretch”
make themselves at home amongst the remainder of the song’s metallic
leanings. Them thematic “Goddess Bound” and “Goddess Gagged”
round Fortress out and although the tunes themselves are musically flawless
they don’t have the same staying power as the rest of the material
on the rest of the album.

Conclusion

For a band to be this accomplished
at such a young age is almost scary. Imagine then what Protest The
Hero
will be capable of after they’ve spent another few years
on the road. If Fortress is an indication of what they can do now then PTH have the potential to be one of the next great metal bands.

Tracklisting

  1. Bloodmeat
  2. Dissentience
  3. Bone Marrow
  4. Sequoia Throne
  5. Palms Read
  6. Limb From Limb
  7. Spoils
  8. Wretch
  9. Goddess Bound
  10. Goddess Gagged

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